Armed with a new Conservative majority in the House of Commons, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is introducing a legal clause to the current Withdrawal Bill that make any extension to the Article 50 transition process illegal past December of 2020.
Currently, the U.K. is scheduled to leave the European Union on January 31 of 2020. But under Article 50 of the European Union Constitution, there was always going to be a “transition period” set to end in December of 2020, during which the EU and the U.K. would remain closely linked while the minutiae of the new relationship between Great Britain and the E.U. could be hammered out. Currently, both parties could agree to an extension of up to two years if a deal satisfactory to both parties is not agreed upon. Johnson’s new clause would legally nix any more extensions.
This means that contentious issues such as fishing rights as well as consumer and environmental standards must be solved in the 11 months after the January 31 leave date. If these agreements are not made, the relationship between the EU and the U.K. would default to World Trade Organization (WTO) terms.
Johnson and the Tories ran on a simple three-word platform in the general election: Get Brexit Done. In introducing the legislation to the House of Commons, Johnson said the new rule would put an end to years of “deadlock, dither and delay.”
At a meeting of the new Cabinet, Johnson hinted that a flurry of activity was upcoming with regard to the Conservative Party’s promise to “get Brexit done.”
“It was a seismic election, but we need to repay their trust and work 24-hours-a-day, work flat-out to deliver,” Johnson said. Then, echoing back to last summer when he first became prime minister, Johnson added, “The first hundred days were very busy … but you ain’t seen nothing yet, folks.”
While the EU claims that they’re ready for new negotiations, there are only slim hopes that the intricacies of any comprehensive trade deal moving forward could be worked out completely by the new, self-imposed British deadline.
Chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier said that the bloc of nations would “do the maximum” it could in order to finalize the deal by the new British deadline. When asked what he thought of Johnson’s new clause, Barnier said only, “It is the British choice to choose the procedure it wants.”
Many believe Johnson’s new legislation is intended to light a fire under those in Brussels — the headquarters of the EU — who might choose to drag their feet on negotiations, knowing that extensions are an option. It’s also an acknowledgment that the U.K. is ready to “go it alone” if the EU asks too much of them.
Despite their humbling defeat last week, the Labour Party was not shy in voicing its displeasure at Johnson’s new measure. Sir Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary, called Johnson’s move “reckless and irresponsible” and argued that Johnson was “prepared to put people’s jobs at risk.”
The interim leader of the Liberal Democrat Party, Sir Ed Davey, also believes that Johnson is acting in an irresponsible way. “The only way Johnson can meet the December 2020 timetable is by giving up all his previous promises to Leave voters and agreeing to all the demands of the EU.”
But not really. Johnson could simply not agree to the demands of the EU and still keep his promise to “get Brexit done.”
The entire narrative that a “deal” was necessary in order to deliver on the will of the British people to leave the EU is not based in fact. Certainly, provisions in the EU’s charter call for a transition period where trade deals and treaties might be worked out, but it was never a requirement that any sort of deal be worked out. The provision that the two sides would rely on WTO rules post separation is proof of that.
There were no mentions of “deals” or ongoing relationships between Great Britain and the EU when the people voted on Brexit. The horror stories of what might happen to the British, EU, and world economies were designed to frighten the citizens and make them re-think their wish for sovereignty.
But last week, the British people told the globalists of the E.U. and in their own country exactly what they thought of those scare tactics.
Photo: AP Images